NA LCS Recap of Week 9: the Teemo game and TSM’s dominance


NA LCS Recap of Week 9: the week Andy Dinh baited TSM into playing Teemo

This was a week of key matches to lock in playoff positioning. Cloud9 did well to get the 3rd seed and a favorable first-round matchup against Team Envy while Immortals, Counter Logic Gaming and Team Liquid all stubbed their toes. But to heck with that, let’s talk about Teemo.

Team SoloMid vs. NRG: The Teemo Game!

So this happened Friday night:

Regi Teemo
Regi Teemo /

Followed by this:

Bjerg Teemo
Bjerg Teemo /

TSM were clearly loose with the top seed locked and a Sunday game against ninth-place NRG Esports. So let’s talk about the Teemo game.

To be honest, TSM didn’t lose because of the Teemo pick – well, not exactly. TSM top laner Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell gave up a silly first blood misplaying how his poison would interact with turret aggro, but for the most part, he had a CS lead on Diego “Quas” Ruiz and made that lane difficult for NRG.

NRG jungler Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen made some great plays on Olaf to get mid laner Lee “GBM” Chang-suk ahead on LeBlanc. For anyone who has played as Ashe into a fed LeBlanc — it goes about as well as you’d expect. Eventually, Teemo became an afterthought in team fights and NRG ignored him to take down the other carries. TSM won the series, but every Teemo death is a win for us all.

Immortals vs. Team SoloMid

Okay, getting to the real game of the week. We expected that the top lane carry meta would benefit Immortals in this rematch, and in Game 1, they got a major carry in Gangplank for toplaner Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon.

And then the game was over in six minutes.

As boring as lane swaps may appear, TSM’s superior swap mechanics propelled them to a lead

dldldldldldldldlldldldldldlldldl /

they would never relinquish. After the initial tower trade, Immortals chose to have Huni farm a short lane in the bottom while Jason “WildTurtle” Tran and Adrian “Adrian” Ma went to the top lane. Hauntzer, in the top, did a marvelous job letting the wave push slowly towards him, soaking in all of IMT’s pressure (to use Sam “Kobe” Hartman-Kenzler’s words).

Meanwhile, with no jungle support, Huni was basically useless facing the TSM duo lane.

Yes, they eventually broke Hauntzer’s freeze, but the damage was done. Huni was a full level behind courtesy of a useless jungle walk, Turtle was behind and TSM gained control over Dragon all in that quick span.

That may seem like a small advantage, and the game didn’t really break TSM’s way until a disastrous fight over the next drake, but consider this: TSM are the best team in the league. You cannot make elementary mistakes facing teams of this caliber. If Immortals make it to World’s, the competition is only going to increase. Against the top competition in the world, you cannot exit the laneswap with two losing lanes AND a free Dragon to the opponent.

Next: Doublelift takes down Immortals with a pentakill

And then there’s the picks and bans: what exactly is Jhin’s role for Turtle in that comp? You have late-game scaling everywhere else –- GP and Malzahar should start getting big right when Jhin falls off. Yeah, he has a nice long-range root, but outside of his W and R, there just isn’t much for him to do late-game. And if you’re going to count on his early pushing power, why not find standard lanes to try and keep Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng down?

The bad news is that the Immortals picks and bans got even wackier in the second game. Deciding that Huni as a carry wouldn’t work, they gave him Tahm Kench. What the hell?

Bjergsen baited Eugene “Pobelter” Park into an early first blood, Vincent “Biorfrost” Wang’s Karma helped Doublelift’s Sivir shove the lane against Turtle’s Ashe and Adrian’s Sona, and that was all she wrote. Immortals never found comfortable lane matchups and never looked comfortable playing into Bjergsen’s Zilean (for the second straight series).

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